This text presents an intuitive and robust mathematical image of fundamental particle physics based on a novel approach to quantum field theory, which is guided by four carefully motivated metaphysical postulates. In particular, the book explores a dissipative approach to quantum field theory, which is illustrated for scalar field theory and quantum electrodynamics, and proposes an attractive explanation of the Planck scale in quantum gravity. Offering a radically new perspective on this topic, the book focuses on the conceptual foundations of quantum field theory and ontological questions. It also suggests a new stochastic simulation technique in quantum field theory which is complementary to existing ones. Encouraging rigor in a field containing many mathematical subtleties and pitfalls this text is a helpful companion for students of physics and philosophers interested in quantum field theory, and it allows readers to gain an intuitive rather than a formal understanding.
Hans Christian OEttinger is Professor of Polymer Physics at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETH Zurich). His research is focused on developing a general framework of nonequilibrium thermodynamics as a tool for describing dissipative classical and quantum systems.
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Approach to quantum field theory; 2. Scalar field theory; 3. Quantum electrodynamics; 4. Perspectives; Appendix A. An efficient perturbation scheme; Appendix B. Properties of Dirac matrices; Appendix C. Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff formulas; References; Author index; Subject index.